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Know- good news ...Middletown

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whistlersmom View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 02 2017 at 11:41am

The Channel 9 NEWS reported this morning that restrooms of Middletown’s McDonalds on Verity Parkway are now locked.


Due to the numerous overdoses occurring in the restrooms, there is access only upon request.


Mr Adkins’ discussions and summits concerning the drug epidemic in Middletown seems to have had no positive effect.

Action speaks louder than words. What action has been taken by the city??


Here’s one place that the police department could closely monitor to advantage! The mere show of presence of law enforcement would be a deterent.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 02 2017 at 11:38pm
I am really confused here.  Anytime that someone on this board talks about the drug problems in our fair city - everyone wants to point at the police - as if the Police could somehow do more or be more proactive or whatever....

Let's get something straight.  Police work is 90% reactive - and 10% proactive.  Middletown's Finest are some of the best in the world - and I thank them for their dedication, devotion and protection.  I pray for them everyday.  I hold them in the highest esteem.  Furthermore, Mr. Adkins is trying his best to shed light on it, fund it, do anything he can to stop it - but it's not really in his bag o' tricks....

But - I don't blame them for the drug problem.  I don't believe they have a magic bullet that will fix the problem.  I don't blame anyone but the criminals themselves for the problem.

For starters - arrests for drugs this year are up 55%!  That's INCREDIBLE!  That's great police work......but.....

Look the laws of supply and demand are at work here.  I'll borrow a phrase from Mr. Adkins (and don't even try to imply I'm kissing butt here....you know who you are) that "we imported poverty into our city" (in reference to the whole Section 8 debacle) and that precipitated the entire falling apart of certain sections of town that are now riddled with poverty, joblessness, crime and drugs.  That's just the facts.

Now - until you kill the demand - you won't kill the supply. 

I don't really see how the police can help this - and with the light sentences most of these people get (often because the dealers carry as little product as possible so the sentences are lighter) even arresting more and more doesn't have the affect that stopping the demand could ever have.

I stand by our police.  I stand by Chief Muterspaw (even if from behind he kinda looks like Doug Adkins - and FWIW, don't embarrass your self by calling him that.....lol) and his men and women who keep us safe everyday.

It's a shame what has happened to our town - but the people are the problem, not our police.

Bob
“Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” — Marie Curie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 03 2017 at 4:36am
Please consider the impact of the following priorities, policies, plans and programs as they relate to the amount of criminal activity (including drug distribution, usage, etc.) in Middletown over recent years:

1)  the "alleged" major reduction of Section 8 units "within the city limits" over the past two or less years;
2)  the "mega demolition" of hundreds of residential dwellings in older neighborhoods over the past six years;
3)  the tax levy passage that facilitated the "hiring of more police officers" in recent years; and,
4)  the increased allocation of CDBG funds to institute a "major expansion of code enforcement actions" citywide.

Are there successful initiatives being implemented in other municipalities nationwide that should be considered for replication in Middletown?  Are there valid reasons for additional city revenues to be earmarked to help combat these debilitating issues?

It's acknowledged that the City Manager, Police Chief and the city as a whole have a formidable task ahead of them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 03 2017 at 7:45am
Contrary to the preceding post, please consider the impact of the past 8.5 years and the de-emphasis of neighborhood stabilizing activities in Middletown's older and/or otherwise vulnerable/declining neighborhoods:

1)  the "elimination" of the Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation (OOHR) Program ;
2)  the "diversion" of the $500,000+ OOHR revolving loan fund to the mostly residential property demolition effort;
3)  the "80% reduction" in funds for the elderly, handicapped home owner Emergency Home Repair (EHR) Program;
4)  the "50% reduction" in funds for the first-time home buyer Down Payment & Closing Cost Assistance Program; and,
5)  the "elimination" of prospective purchaser Home Buyer Education (HBE) classes held at One Donham Plaza.

NOTE:  The city farmed out first-time purchaser HOME Program funds (administration and loan capital) for the Down Payment & Closing Cost Assistance Program to a Hamilton-based non-profit entity.  As recently as 2008 more than 60 new home purchasers were assisted annually.  In addition, the city has also farmed out the administration of HBE classes to said Hamilton-based non-profit organization.  Again, as recently as 2008, about 300 prospective home buyers were assisted annually.

Strengthening neighborhoods housing quality and percentage of owner-occupancy must once again be a priority of the City of Middletown.  These attainable tools will help combat crime/drug usage while bolstering personal responsibility and sustainability of property pride.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 03 2017 at 4:26pm

The heroin epidemic in Middletown is now considered front page news in the Sunday Journal.

QUOTE:

LOCAL COMPANIES Heroin epidemic strains businesses

Butler firms take steps to prevent overdoses from occurring on site.

By Rick McCrabb and Mike Rutledge
Staff Writers

One of the doors at the McDonald’s restaurant on Verity Parkway in Middletown has been made into an exit only to help curb drug traffic through the business. GREG LYNCH PHOTOS/ STAF

The MidPointe Library in Middletown has removed the doors to its restrooms, which has helped curb drug use at the facility.

The McDonald’s restaurant on Verity Parkway has taken several steps to help prevent addicts from overdosing on the property, including an “exit only” sign. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

BUTLER COUNTY — The heroin epidemic, which already is straining public safety budgets, now is changing how some local businesses operate.

Several local businesses have taken measures to reduce the possibility of patrons overdosing on their property.

The McDonald’s restaurant on Verity Parkway in Middletown has issued remote buttons that allows cashiers to unlock the restrooms for their customers and the entrance door closest to the restrooms is marked “exit only.”

A manager at the Middletown McDonald’s said he couldn’t comment about the new safety steps.

The corporate office, in an email, wrote: “The safety and well-being of customers and employees is our top priority, and we have taken appropriate measures to ensure a positive experience while in our restaurant.”

In the first eight months of this year, Middletown police have filed 49 reports at the Verity McDonald’s, five more than the entire 2016, according to police records reviewed by this newspaper.

This year’s reports include 10 drug complaints and five overdoses. Some of those complaints have been for illegal activity inside the restaurant, while most have occurred in the parking lot, according to the records.

Rick Pearce, president of the Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton, said he understands the issues facing businesses and organizations that are open to the public.

While it is sad that businesses that deal with the general public have to go to such measures to ensure the safety of their customers and employees, I do feel that the community at large understands why they have moved in that direction,” Pearce said.

Middletown police also said they have been notified that other local fast-food restaurants and retail stores have locked their public restrooms as a way to keep illegal activity from occurring.

Rodney Muterspaw, Middletown’s police chief, said he believes addicts use drugs in public places so they can be found in case they overdose. If they overdose at home, he said, someone may not find them before they can be revived.

He noted that overdoses are down 25 percent in the city in the last three months.

Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli said more than in public restrooms, his department is seeing an increase in overdoses in parking lots, including convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, even churches. Drivers also have overdosed while stopped at intersections, he said.

Lolli said he often wonders what’s happening in a public restroom.

My gosh, who’s in your bathroom now,” he said.

He said security “is a problem” for business owners.

It’s a concern,” he added.

Middletown resident Anne Gilmore, 34, said whenever she takes her three children, ages 5, 7 and 11, to a public place — a restaurant, library or amusement park — she’s hesitant sending her children into the restroom alone. She closely monitors how long her children are in the restroom and if anyone enters or leaves.

You can’t be too careful,” said Gilmore, who added when she was a child her parents were worried about her getting abducted by a stranger.

Now, as parents we’re worried about people overdosing in front of our kids. This is a different world we’re living in,” she said.

Georgia Thorton, 73, of Hamilton, agreed.

It’s hard to feel safe anywhere,” she said while downtown. “People get on (heroin) and you don’t know what they will do.”

The entrance doors to the men’s and women’s restrooms at MidPointe Library’s Middletown branch have been removed, but that was based on the architect’s recommendation because it made the rooms more handicap-accessible, said Cari Hillman, public relations director at the library.

She also noted the library, 125 S. Broad St., has trained staff and off-duty Middletown police officers to ensure every effort is made to keep the library safe.

Some restrooms in Hamilton have been closed due to drug usage.

The first-floor restrooms on the city’s side of the Government Services Center were closed because of drugs and public indecency, said Hamilton Director of Public Safety Scott Scrimizzi. People are directed to the second-floor bathrooms, which are near the court security checkpoints on both sides of the building, he said.

Access to the first-floor restrooms on the county’s side of the building has also been limited, according to Butler County Asset Director Randy Quisenberry. Those restrooms are open during business hours when there is an event scheduled.

The Butler County Juvenile Justice Center has been a “substantial drop” in vandalism after the county spent $38,000 to fix the destruction in the first-floor restrooms three years ago, said Tim Myers, Information & Administrative Services Manager.

He said the bathrooms feature material and finishes that are difficult to vandalize and he credited surveillance cameras and more patrolling for the drop in illegal activity.

In the past, people had trashed the bathrooms ripping a mirror off a wall in the men’s bathroom, graffiti decorated the stalls and walls, counter tops were cracked, and sinks flooded, officials said.

One Hamilton business owner recently spoke to City Council about the illegal activity outside her business at the corner of South Edgewood Avenue and Commerce Street.

Darleena Thenot, who owns Edgewood Denture, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, said she realizes Hamilton has “an extreme problem, but something has to be done.”

She told council: “I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”

Thenot was overcome with emotion talking about the illegal drug activity she sees in areas of the city..

I work hard,” she said. “My husband works hard. I don’t want to see our business going down because of these issues.”

She’s cleaned up vomit near her business and people have urinated on nearby buildings, she said.

Thenot said she wasn’t putting the police “down.” She said her father is a retired Hamilton police officer and her brother recently retired from the Butler County Sheriff ’s Office.

It’s everywhere,” she said of the drugs.

I don’t have time for any of this, but I’m willing to make time to see what we can do for the area,” she told council.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 03 2017 at 4:27pm

 The Journal News article reveals a lot about cause, effect, consequences and reaction to the drug epidemic in Middletown and Hamilton.


Overall gist of the article appears to point out the continual necessity for businesses and public places to increase or implement new measures to combat the increasing drug epidemic and high crime.


And our City Manager still doesn’t see that the city’s concentration on housing (a non-issue) isn’t going to solve the real problems under which our citizens suffer. Who would want to move here and pay market value for a home in a community with rampant drug problems, high crime, no amenities, poor school academics, no shopping and crumbling infrastructure.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 14 2017 at 12:23am

Here’s some slightly stale but very pertinent news plus some interesting back ground information:

Let’s compare the cost of 3 new schools in Fairfield with Middletown’s new schools. First, read this Journal News report on Fairfield:

FAIRFIELD 3 new schools begin classes in Fairfield 10,000 students attend first day; $80M construction project is complete.

By Michael D. Clark
Staff Writer

BY THE NUMBERS

$80M Fairfield City Schools construction project price tag to build a new Freshman School and two new elementary schools — Central and Compass

10,000 The number of students who started classes in Fairfield Schools on Tuesday. About 20 percent of those students began learning in the new schools.

1929 The year the former Central Elementary building opened. The school was demolished this summer.

FAIRFIELD — It was an opening of a historic new chapter Tuesday morning in Fairfield City Schools as students began classes for the first time in three new school buildings. Thousands of students poured into the Butler County city school system’s new Freshman School and two new elementaries — Central and Compass — all part of an $80 million construction project years in the making.
In all, 10,000 students started classes and school officials said the first part of the first day went off without any significant problems. The opening school day excitement had youngsters in Central Elementary — and their parents — wide-eyed with excitement.

Fairfield school parent Amber Shope had two children attend the antiquated former Central Elementary building, which opened in 1929 and was demolished this summer. Neither she nor her children miss it. They are very excited and had trouble falling asleep last night,” said Shope after dropping her children off at the new Central Elementary.

They were pretty much running into the new building. They love the new building,” she said. “It is a major change compared to the old Central. It is a major upgrade and the rooms are a lot bigger.” Fairfield Schools Superintendent Billy Smith said it was a special kind of first day of classes for students, parents and all city residents.

Our community could not be more excited. They have been waiting for today all summer long,” said Smith. And longer when it comes to construction — two years — and a decade in planning, said Fairfield Board of Education Vice President Michael Berding as he greeted students. It’s a whole new learning environment and we’re excited for the kids,” said Berding.

While the district is now one of the few in the history of Southwest Ohio school systems to simultaneously open three new schools — Hamilton Schools did the same about a decade ago — the new buildings are just part of the sweeping changes for the city schools.

The district’s 10 schools have also changed grades offered in buildings, which impacts thousands of other students.

And the public will get a chance to see what their tax money bought — they approved a school tax hike in 2014 for the new schools — at dedication ceremonies and tours being offered this weekend.

Dedication ceremonies — with public tours to follow — at each school will take place Saturday at:9 a.m. at the Freshman School, 8790 North Gilmore Road11:30 a.m. at Compass Elementary, 8801 Holden Blvd.1 p.m. at Central Elementary, 5054 Dixie Highway

Inside the new Fairfield Freshman School, Makylah Taylor, was seeing her new building for the first time and was thrilled. I like how our classrooms are spread out by hallways and wings,” she said of the airy, expansively designed school featuring multi-story wings of classes. It’s really pretty and I really love the colors,” said Taylor as she paused before making her way to her first class.

A quote from Middletown’s report to Moodys’Rating Service Sept 25, 2014, reveals an expensive plan. “Approximate $165 million Master Plan from 2003; ….current use of proceeds for remaining CFAP monies to be used to finalize relocation of middle school and improvements to high school….”


Now compare planning and expenditures of Middletown and Fairfield school boards.


Fairfield spent a total $80 million on a new middle school plus 2 new elementary schools. Fairfield has a similar number of school buildings (10) for a larger total city student body of 10,000 housed in 3 new, and 7 other well maintained or renovated older buildings, some of which were advantageously re-purposed to house different grade levels. It appears that they have demolished only one building since the tax hike in 2014.


Currently Middletown’s school buildings (numbering 11,soon to be 10) cost twice as much or more than Fairfield’s, for Middletown’s dwindling student body of 6,000 (down from a maximum 6,600 in 2010-11).

Middletown tax payers approved a $75 million school levy for replacing two or three buildings. For this levy, the state gave “matching” funds specifically for building new schools. The $ amount of the matching funds is unknown, at least some research has not found it. The next levy for $96 million was to build the new middle school and renovate the high school. So our school buildings’ total cost in millions is $75+$96+$? state matching funds=$171+?. It’s a shame that a true total can not be quoted.


It seems the extra state funding befuddled the school board. The matching funds could have been used to reduce our high tax rate by lowering the amount of the next $96 million levy for the new middle school plus renovating the high school. But the school board decided to change their original plan of renovating more of the newer elementary schools. Instead, Middletown has built 6 new elementary schools, remodeled 2 and has unnecessarily torn down relatively new buildings along with some older renovated, well maintained buildings. Verity School, a newer well maintained building with several acres, was unnecessarily abandoned and eventually sold to Berachah Church (and put to good use) for $200,000+.


Cost savings should be important to a city so deeply in debt. The savings might have amounted to tens of millions of dollars that could have gone to much better use. This amounts to a lot of unnecessary spending on buildings that have yet to improve the quality of the students’ education which still ranks among the lowest in the state. High taxes and low academic rating describes a sick perverted system on its way to committing suicide.

Middletown has 11 schools, 8 elementary, 2 middle (to be replaced with 1 new building), and 1 high school. The eight elementary are:

6 Newly Constructed: Rosa Parks 2007, Highview 2007, Creekview 2007, Wildwood 2008, Miller Ridge 2008 and Mayfield 2008.

2 Remodeled: Amanda in 2006 and Central Academy in 2008.


The Manchester Tech School was turned over to Butler Tech purportedly to run Middletown’s Tech School for them. But Butler Tech found it more expedient to send all the tech students to their main campus on Route 4, leaving the Manchester Tech building unused. This resulted in Middletown citizens paying property taxes to Butler Tech (it’s listed on your property tax statement) while continuing to pay taxes for Middletown’s own Tech School. The new taxes being paid to Butler Tech were never voted on by Middletown residents, so according to our charter, that tax is illegal. Now the school board wants to tear down Manchester Tech after installing new AC, replacing the roof and maintaining the building after Butler Tech gave it back to Middletown. There went a lot of wasted tax dollars!


Middletown school board does seem much more interested in passing levies and collecting money than in educating the children of Middletown. Price was the choice candidate for superintendent because he had gotten two levies passed at his previous school system. Was there ANY consideration given to how he would improve our poor academic rating? When Price was asked about school performance he claimed that 

Middletown schools were near the top in the state when in fact Middletown was rated 

599 out of 612 school districts. Test results dropped every year during Price’s tenure.


The sole purpose of the school system is to provide our children the opportunity to get 

the best possible education. The apparent dismal failure to do so, after going to such 

extreme expense to the tax payer is INEXCUSABLE !

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 19 2017 at 6:19pm

 A Journal News’ 9/19/2017 report by Ed Richter, titled “Middletown’s anti-OD work hailed” is more propaganda probably dictated, as usual, by Mr Adkins.


The Journal article about the 11th Heroin Summit says:

“Three months after some dire predictions were made, the number of heroin overdose runs and deaths have declined.” . . . .

Through May 31, the city has experienced 451 nonfatal overdoses and 49 fatal overdoses, according to city records. During 2016, there were 458 overdoses in the city and 74 fatal overdoses.”

Adkins said those numbers have gone down from June 1 through Sept. 16 with 303 nonfatal overdoses and 16 fatal overdoses recorded.”

Note there is no comparison made with the TOTAL numbers from All of 2016 and 9.5 months of 2017.

Because of the arbitrary division of 2017 into 2 periods in 2 different paragraphs, comparison is difficult to make between 2016 and 2017 numbers of overdoses. It’s seems purposely done to create confusion.

Here are the numbers put back in order.


9.5 months in of 2017 Nonfatal OD’s 754 (451 thru May+303 June-Sept 6) Fatal OD’s 65

All 12 months of 2016 Nonfatal OD’s 458 Fatal OD’s 74


Now you can see the dramatic increase over the past 9.5 months of 2017 ... the total number of nonfatal overdoses was 754 (or 79 every month) compared to ALL 12 months of 2016 the total number of nonfatal overdoses was 458 (or 38 every month). The 9+ month, 2017 numbers of nonfatal OD’s is nearly double the 12 month, 2016 numbers. NOT A GOOD RECORD, and it belies the false impression of improvement Mr Adkins gives by juggling and jumbling the numbers.

The opening line of the article, stated above, should say that the dire predictions were on point.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote middletownscouter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2017 at 11:03am
The assumption in that article is coming from a limited view of the data and isn't really well explained.  Math is math, but interpretation of numbers can be skewed easily to paint the picture that one wants while being technically correct but not a true representation of the entire story.

All of 2016 (365 days) had 458 non-lethal and 74 lethal for a total of 532 overdoses.  That's an average of 1.3 non-lethal and 0.2 lethal per day (or 1.5 total overdoses per day).

Per-day average is what is important because that's where you can get a more accurate representation when you're comparing performance based on unequal date ranges.

For the first five months of 2017 (151 days), there are 451 non-lethal and 49 lethal for a total of 500 overdoses.  That's an average of 3.0 non-lethal and 0.3 lethal per day (or 3.3 total overdoses per day).  That's a per day average increase of 60% for lethal OD's and 138% for non-lethal OD's (127% combined) compared to all of 2016.  

For the second time period of June 1 through September 16 (108 days), there are 303 non-lethal and 16 lethal for a total of 319 overdoses.  That's an average of 2.8 non-lethal and 0.1 lethal per day (or 3.0 total overdoses per day).  That shows a decrease from the first 5 months of the year on a per-day average of 54% for lethal and 6% for non-lethal OD's (11% overall).  This performance is where the claim of a decline can be based.

Taking that rate of decline and projecting it out through the end of the year (which is a very simple guess that takes no factors into account but the published numbers), the last 106 days of the year should result in 279 additional non-lethal and 7 lethal overdoses (287 total).  Adding it all up would then be for a year end 2017 of 1,033 non-lethal and 72 lethal overdoses (1,106 total).  Average per day would be 2.8 non-lethal, and 0.2 lethal, or (3.0 total overdoses per day).  Comparing that projection for year end 2017 versus actual 2016 would result in an increase of 126% for non-lethal overdoses, a decrease of 3% for lethal overdoses, for a 108% overall increase over 2016.  Which in the end is still over double the total, with the only decrease being a slight slide in lethal overdoses.

The claim of a decline could be more in the rest of 2017 has been better than the first five months.  Which is true.  If you took the same rates of the first five months of 2017 and projected it out for the entire year, there would be 1,090 non-lethal and 119 lethal overdoses for a total of 1,209 OD's.  So the decline for June through mid-September projecting out means that a year-end 2017 should see 57 fewer non-lethal and 46 fewer lethal overdoses (104 total fewer). 

So maybe the article should be framed more along the lines of "It's going to be bad, but not as bad as it looked like it would be at the end of May, so there's that."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2017 at 12:10pm
For me, all of the number crunching are for statisticians. Bottom line, it's bad here in town and another black eye for the community. I'm looking at the overdose situation from a source/treatment/pay for services/what are some solutions standpoint. We know that Adkins and company have been meeting at Atrium to discuss solutions but I have yet to hear a viable course of action. A lot to time spent "talking" about it, but no action to my knowledge.

The number reporting are a result of the overabundant overdose activity. The numbers mean nothing as to solving the issues.

1. Who are the drug dealers who supply the pipeline to Middletown?
Get 'em off the streets and make it too hard to deal in the city. Come down hard on these disgusting "humans". Take their money, their car and house and their freedom. Muterspaw has it right on this subject but it needs to be enforced in a hard nosed manner making it so difficult with too much to lose for the dealers, they won't come back here. Is that doable for Muterspaw and still work within the framework of the law? Can we write our own Middletown law that would be enough of a deterrent?

2.Before a person takes their drugs, they know there is a possibility of OD'ing. Have they prepared for their OD by purchasing Narcan? Do they have a reliable person to administer after the OD? If not, why not? If they haven't prepared accordingly, then they set themselves up to die. If they care that little about their own life, why is it any concern of the taxpayer? Why should the taxpayer buy the supply of Narcan carried by police, medics and fire personnel? It should be funded by the user entirely and the user should be charged the medic run, ambulance usage, emergency room charge and any accompanying treatment done. Charge their insurance company. No insurance, pay out of pocket if they have a job or garnish their welfare benefits if no job) NOT the taxpayer's responsibility.

3. If they use in a restaurant bathroom, fine them for illegal trespassing, make it MANDATORY that they attend a "drug dry out/weening" program on the first time and if they don't, throw them in jail for a certain time. No drugs for them in jail so let them "crave" the hard way.

4. I happen to agree with Picard and others. I don't believe the city and the taxpayer should be responsible to take care of those in our city who choose to use. THEIR decision and one that is not our problem to fix. No more than a one time response from our medics. That's it. We should not condone nor cater to multiple, repeat offenders on drug usage. If we do, it will be an endless cycle of reviving these weak-minded people. Gotta draw the line in the sand somewhere. Make it one time and then they are on their own. Stop listening to the humanity riddled/bleeding hearts out there who want to save people who refuse to act right in society, want a continual bailout and take no responsibility for their actions. The coddling crap must end or we have no chance of regaining control of society ever again. There must be deterrents in place to deter unacceptable behavior.   
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2017 at 2:17pm
"For me, all of the number crunching are for statisticians. Bottom line, it's bad here in town and another black eye for the community. "

VietVet, come on now.  This is indeed a black eye to our community - however - things seem to be heading in the right direction - give credit where and when it is due - we owe that to the hard working men and women who police our streets everyday.

As far as the law goes - let's all come to an understanding that the police can't just roll down the street and arrest a bunch of people.  That's not how our law enforcement system works!  Our system demands probable cause and/or a warrant.  Those all mean that the police don't have carte blanche - it has to be caught and or snitched then a process has to be followed and many of these dealers are street wise.  Lt. Cunningham shared at a meeting one night that the dealers only carry a certain amount so the penalties are lighter should they get caught and are back in 90 days on the streets selling again.

FWIW - I agree with everything else you said.  It needs to be codified that if you OD in Middletown - the taxpayer isn't going to take the hit for your poor choices!

Bob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2017 at 2:54pm
budda:

"VietVet, come on now. This is indeed a black eye to our community - however - things seem to be heading in the right direction - give credit where and when it is due - we owe that to the hard working men and women who police our streets everyday"

The numbers are too high. The cost for Narcan too high. Police ranks on the street are stretched too thin and no time to police other crimes as they seem to be responding to too many OD's. Overtime costs for the city to police the extra criminal activity. I am on the cops side. I know that they are doing all they can within the confines of the laws as they are written. My message was more about giving them more power to enforce stricter laws and changing the city laws (if possible) to reflect a tougher stance on drug dealers and their pipeline. Elect "hanging judges". Inflict longer, harsher sentences and stop being so dam nice to criminals. I suggested the laws be made so rough on dealer offenders that they will no longer do business in the city. I don't know whether the city has the latitude of changing certain aspects of a law to make it more than effective on keeping the dealers out. If it needs to be stopped at the supplier who supplies the dealers, perhaps that is the starting point. That would require a regional meeting rather than a localized Atrium one. Where ever the supply point is to the dealers to cut their supply off. Nothing to sell, no money to make, the dealers leave the area. Probably impossible to do given all the loopholes. Don't know. Any packages arriving by truck company or airport should be checked against a known list of dealers in the area, the package is held and the cops are notified. Maybe like a "no fly/ suspected terrorist" list that airports have.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 20 2017 at 3:57pm
Viet,

You are right - the numbers are too high and the law isn't harsh enough - but we still have a system in place in our country where people are innocent until proven guilty.  There's a giant system in place that for the innocents' sake should never be circumvented.  And hanging judges are great until it's one of your family members that have to face said judge...and I'm no legal scholar, but some of what you are describing I believe violates the 4th amendment?  

I agree with your sentiments - but when these folks find work that pays enough to survive without turning to criminality - I think a majority of the problem will go away.  I just believe that supply and demand is more to blame here than the dealers themselves....if there's a demand, you'll never kill the supplier.

Bob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 21 2017 at 10:56am
Buddha:

"but we still have a system in place in our country where people are innocent until proven guilty"

If this is so, then why are people locked up before they go to trial? Why are they arrested and jailed if presumed innocent?

IMO, this is a statement that we all hear often but is counter to what really occurs in the sequence of arrested-jailed-prosecuted-found guilty or innocent-jailed or freed. The way the legal system handles things is more like "people are presumed guilty until proven innocent and released". People are not presumed to be innocent. They have to prove their innocence and are treated as guilty until that happens.   

Buddha:

"And hanging judges are great until it's one of your family members that have to face said judge"

Haven't had that situation with the family but I would be inclined to support the judge if a family member violated the law. I'm not a "make a special exception because they are a family member" type of person. More of a "rules are rules" type and if you violate the rules, you must pay the price. It is the only way to maintain a structured standard with no exceptions and I'm all for that. There must be a deterrent for law violators, stringent enough to make them change the behavior and distasteful enough for them not to repeat. That requires harsher laws, lose the kinder/gentler/forgiving nonsense and hanging judges. We need more hard nosed than compassion now. Compassion and repeated forgiveness is what has gotten us to the way society is now and that ain't good.

Buddha:

"but when these folks find work that pays enough to survive without turning to criminality"

There will always be lazy scumbags who will not work in legitimate jobs and will always resort to selling drugs for income. You can offer as many high paying big money jobs you want but there will always be people who will reject them in favor of drug dealing. Providing jobs will not eliminate crime unless everyone wants to do legitimate work for a living and we all know that won't happen.   

buddha:

"just believe that supply and demand is more to blame here than the dealers themselves....if there's a demand, you'll never kill the supplier"

Eliminate the supply, starve the heroin pipeline. No heroin selection source, no choice to use. People either kick the habit, find an alternative or die. No other choice.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 02 2017 at 9:03am

Premier Health had a full page ad in Sunday 10/1/17, Journal News, defending Atrium Medical Center against the possibility of competition from the proposed new Kettering Medical facility. They really must feel very threatened!!

First, a little background … When Premier built Atrium, they insisted, unnecessarily, that the Middletown Regional Hospital be demolished (perhaps insuring that they would have no competition). City Council agreed to this. The new hospital has approximately half the number of beds that the old hospital had. So Middletown lost half the capacity for local hospital patients.

Basically, all the rooms at Atrium are private, for which Atrium charges a higher rate than surrounding hospitals. Since lower priced semi-private rooms are not available, all the patients pay a premium price. But, some major health insurance companies, like United Healthcare, will not agree to pay the private room, higher rate. Looks like Atrium has priced itself out of business. Before admitting some patients whose insurance may not cover the hospital bill, Atrium has demanded they sign a statement that they will be personally responsible for payment of their care. Also, some insurance companies have informed people who live in this area that they do not think the outcome of care at Atrium meets their standards. What’s worse is, some city employees are insured by United Healthcare!! So, all of those city employees must go out of town for in-hospital care. For example, the accident involving Detective Justin Camper. He was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton for treatment!

Now Mr Uhl, president of Atrium, has taken out a full page ad to whine about having some “healthy” competition which will not present the previously mentioned problems for patients. Those problems were created by Atrium itself. Middletown is paying for their poor judgement. Kettering would supply sorely needed, much better insured coverage, locally, which Atrium obviously can not.

When will Middletown City Council get it’s head out of … the sand and make decisions for the good of the citizens? 

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 05 2017 at 9:15pm

“Atrium Days removes barriers in Middletown” headlines the article in the Journal News Thurs. 10/5/17 by Rick McCrabb.

Michael Uhl, President of Atrium, appears to have taken the initiative to better serve Middletown and to improve relations between Atrium and the community. Even at this late date any and all much needed efforts are appreciated and hopefully will be sustained and quickly recognized and used by those in the community who need it the most. Kudos, Mr Uhl !

Some people may think that your new found generosity toward the community has something to do with the vote, by council, on the zoning for Kettering Medical. Does the timing for this thoughtful move seem suspiciously fortuitous? But we can hope that it’s truly out the goodness of your heart and concern for the welfare of Middletown citizens that the numerous serious needs for services is finally being taken into consideration. Even so, the problem with the hospital’s inability to serve people with insurance which does not recognize Atrium, has not been addressed. Also, the services being offered by Atrium thru already established agencies, are only advisory and “will offer referrals for emergency assistance and eventually, referrals for health care services” (but to where those referrals will be directed is not stated).

The following is a quote which appears on Mr Adkins’ blog with comments in parentheses and :

Going outside of hospital walls to bring health information (not services?!) to people in the community is just one example (what other examples are there?) of how Premier Health and Atrium Medical Center strives to improve access to services (does not say provide additional services!) with key partners,” said Michael Uhl, president of Atrium Medical Center. “Atrium Days is an opportunity for community members to meet our staff, ask questions about their health or about the hospital’s services (services which Atrium may not be able to provide), and walk away with health tips from our different subject matter experts.”(but walk away with no real services provided?)

In other words, Atrium Days is an opportunity to listen to an infomercial for Atrium Medical Center.

Why hasn’t the new multimillion dollar, Middletown Health Center, on Verity Parkway been included in this partnership group? They, along with all the other agencies are already providing essential services to the community and not just talking about.

The real partnership here seems to be between Adkins and Uhl for the purpose of squelching any competition for Atrium, thereby limiting growth, jobs and healthcare for Middletown citizens.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 09 2017 at 8:47am


The Sunday Journal News, October 8, 2017 contained and presented multiple sides and view points concerning the Kettering Medical Facility’s rezoning request.


Mr Adkins has repeatedly pulled this item from council agenda over the last month or so. The reason for this? … might be Mr Adkins’ method of conducting and controlling city business while, by his own admission, circumventing the Sunshine Law (which was addressed on this forum and on Mr Adkins own blog in February of 2017).


Quote from the City Manager’s Blog titled “City Council Deliberations” and dated February 17, 2017:

“My policy has always been that City Council can ask anything about anything on the agenda up until Tuesday night.  On Tuesday night, I want them to come to Council with all of their questions answered and with a full understanding of what I want them to vote on.  The only question Tuesday night should generally be whether or not to pass the legislation presented.  They should fully understand what we are proposing and why we believe it is in the best interest of the city to pass the requested legislation.


“If there is a serious problem with what I have proposed, generally it would have been raised by City Council two weeks ago when I first told them what was coming on the agenda.  At that point, we can either answers questions and provide information sufficient to resolve their concerns, or we can pull the items from the agenda before we finalize the meeting because City Council is not ready to move forward with whatever the issue is in its current form.”


“So theoretically, Tuesday is a pretty mundane experience.  All questions previously and completely answered.  All information previously provided. City Council makes a fully understood and educated decision on each piece of legislation.”

To sum it up, Mr Adkins will “pull items from the agenda” until “City Council makes a fully understood and educated decision” … the desired decision that Mr Adkins has dictated. And there will be no deliberations since the vote has been predetermined out of public view, thereby circumventing Sunshine Laws.

In the instance of Kettering Medical Facility rezoning, perhaps Mr Adkins has not sufficiently ‘educated’ the council to vote (as he wants) against the rezoning, thus the delay.

But this delay may have backfired! Kettering Health Network placed a “cover sleeve” on the Sunday paper titled “Health Care … How It Should Be” which thoroughly explains why Middletown needs Kettering Medical’s full service, comprehensive care facility. By way of comparison, Premier/Atrium’s defensive duplicate full page ads appear even more “whiny.” Unbelievably, they try to claim that another medical facility will not create jobs and may even do the opposite. Seems the fear of competition for their high cost ,below standard services (according to United Healthcare) has perverted their ability to think logically.

In addition, there is a front page article which addresses healthcare costs; specifically the dispute between United Healthcare and Premier/Atrium that exposes numerous serious problems (of Atrium’s own creation) that are the real reasons for Atrium’s ‘failure to thrive’ and inability to compete.



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 09 2017 at 3:55pm
Whistler's Mom:

Please note that you just summed up what I have said numerous times (and even previously in this very topic you challenged me over this) that Mr. Adkins view of the world is that there's NEVER any discussion about ANYTHING ever supposed to happen at a council meeting - and that if there is discussion then he didn't do his job and that council should fire him. And that's an exact quote.

He feels that he's supposed to work everything behind the scenes and that it just goes for a 100% vote during the council meetings.  Now - he'll tell you it doesn't violate the sunshine laws and that's how it goes everywhere...and that he's the strong man in the organization by charter (that part is correct) and council are just approving sheep.

Well - let's talk about this for a moment.

1. Maybe this doesn't exactly violate the sunshine law, by rote, but it SURE DOES VIOLATE THE LAW IN SPIRIT!  The spirit behind the sunshine laws was to promote the inner-workings of the decision making to the people to ensure that the public can hold any/all public officials accountable for their indiscretions, cronyism, no-bid contracts, incessant back-scratching and the proverbial smoke filled rooms.  Well - that's exactly what we have in this city - a giant smoke filled room at One Donham and it must be stopped.  Now, I will say that no member of this council has ever refused to take criticism, comments or attempts to change their votes...but we also have no purview into the decision making process at all.  I thought we had made some headway on that dog park issue (at least there was the previously forbidden DISCUSSION) but then Moon made his comment and the rubber stamp came flying.  This all violates the intent of the sunshine law - and just flat stinks if you're a taxpaying citizen.

2. I plan on, Lord willing and the creek don't rise, to be at this next meeting regardless if the Kettering debacle is on the agenda or not - one, because I have some things to say and two, well, it has to be said in terms that these people understand.  And the more people come to speak about it - the better - because it's going to take ALOT of citizens actively voicing their opinions on this to change the outcome.

3. This Kettering issue I firmly believe is a landmark issue for this city.  Either this council is going to promote a pro-growth agenda for this city - or Middletown is finished.  I firmly believe the key to keeping this city in tact, addressing the issues, cleaning the place up and filling the city coffers is linked directly to this deal.  We don't get this - we won't get anything else....remember to at least one of our beloved candidates the whole east end is just an 'amenity' - which makes me believe she's just another downtowner who is gonna waste even more of our dollars on a dog that just don't hunt.

4.  Never mind, carpal tunnel won't let me type anymore - but this council has a chance right here and now to put Adkins in his place by forcing the override of the commission veto and showing some muscle and showing their desire to see this city progress.  If they don't - we lose - and we may lose it all.

Bob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 09 2017 at 9:06pm

The front page Journal News article on October 8,2017, regarding “Healthcare Costs” deserves close scrutiny! Here are some excerpts in black followed by comments in red.



Unless a deal is reached soon between UnitedHealthcare and Premier Health, thousands of people with Medicare plans through the insurer will soon have to decide whether they want to switch insurance companies or health care providers next year.

Does council really think that Atrium will win this battle opposing the largest healthcare insurers in the U.S.? Does council understand that Atrium’s services are overpriced and under performing?

That leaves many Medicare recipients with a dilemma. Medicare open enrollment period starts Oct. 15. and runs until Dec. 7. With the two parties saying their negotiations remain far apart, the 4,000 Medicare Advantage members with UnitedHealthcare that use Premier Health are faced with choosing a new doctor or a new insurance company.

You can get a new doctor affiliated with a competent (and less expensive) hospital and keep good insurance or go to Atrium Hospital and ? insurance (which will not be United Healthcare or Anthem since both have unsolved problems with Premier).

The dispute centers around the giant insurer’s plan to rank hospitals and doctors in tiers based on cost and quality, with the goal of incentivizing lower health care costs.

Premier opposes the ranking system, which it says is already steering patients away from its hospitals and providers.

Our bottom line is off millions per month by this,” Duncan said.

Premier (Atrium) opposes being ranked by cost and quality! Isn’t that a surprise? Does Atrium really think losing United Healthcare patients (especially the large number of patients who are insured under medicare) would help their bottom line?

Although early data indicates that about 45 percent of the ER volume it normally gets from UnitedHealthcare-covered patients is staying with them, the remaining 55 percent appears to be going to other providers, he said.

Patients with health benefit plans that are part of the UnitedHealthcare tiering system have lower co-payments if they choose doctors from a group ranked “tier 1,” which includes physicians the insurer considers cost-efficient.

Premier officials say the ranking system doesn’t take into account expenses the hospital system has for offering specialized care such as its Level 1 trauma center, high-risk maternity care, and burn care. The cost data used by UnitedHealthcare to determine its tiers is skewed by these higher-end services, according to Premier.

Isn’t cost-efficient care described as the best care for the money? Atrium isn’t a Level 1 trauma center, it is a Level 3, the lowest trauma level in this area (look it up on the current rankings on the web). Can you explain how United Healthcare’s use of cost and quality to determine its tiers is at all unfair to Premier (Atrium)? They are just dealing with the facts!

All of Premier’s proposals maintain its position as one of the most expensive health systems in Ohio while also demanding local businesses be restricted from offering competitive benefits that put consumer choice first and allow workers to be rewarded for choosing quality, cost-efficient care providers,” it stated.

Is Middletown’s council going to allow Premier (Atrium) to continue without any competition? Is council, once again, going to support their buddies to the detriment of the citizens of Middletown, by limiting the citizens to high cost and poor quality healthcare?

Premier officials dispute the data used by United-Healthcare, calling it “incomplete and misleading.” They also say it doesn’t account for the unique services that Premier provides and the high number of Medicaid patients that it treats at a financial loss to the health provider.

Medicaid does not pay the full cost of care, it says, so the system must either absorb a $50 million loss on its books or cost-shift from elsewhere to cover the difference.

It’s our high-priced, high-cost, very specialized services that are driving our prices up,” said Duncan.

Does Premier (Atrium) think that they are the only hospital serving Medicaid patients? Isn’t Mr. Duncan, Premier’s chief financial officer, right when he says “It’s our high-priced, high-cost, … services that are driving our prices up?

In one example that Duncan described as a typical visit, a UnitedHealthcare patient arrived at the emergency room and received a $4,000 bill. Withholding the name of the patient, he said UnitedHealthcare designated the full bill to the patient.

From May, when the contract expired, to August, Premier saw roughly 1,100 similar UnitedHealthcare emergency room cases, Duncan said.

Do the ‘unique services’ that Atrium touts include billing a United Healthcare patient $4000 for an emergency room visit? The statement Atrium made here, about this patient, doesn’t tell whether they left with or without having received any services. If memory serves, this patient’s experience was reported as NOT receiving services but was charged for ‘arriving’ in (being admitted to?) the emergency room. Mr Duncan described this as a ‘typical’ visit to Atrium’s emergency room!!! and he said there were 1100 similar emergency room cases!!! IF all of those cases were charged $4000 that would be $4,400,000 … a lot of money for NOT performing any services IF all 1100 were like Mr Duncan’s ‘typical’ example.

Premier CEO Mary Boosalis said “from a pure humanitarian point of view,” she’d like to forgive the patients’ bills because they are stuck in the middle of something they can’t control. But, she said, that would be a slippery slope that would not only be prohibitively expensive, but also eventually lead to insurers like UnitedHealthcare and Anthem not being motivated to negotiate with Premier.

Does it really sound like Premier is motivated to negotiate with United Healthcare and Anthem ? And vice versa! Atrium has created it’s own untenable slippery slope for which they will try to blame everyone except themselves. The patients will bear the brunt of high costs if Atrium can successfully stick it to them. Don’t see anything ‘humanitarian’ about that!

Mr Adkins advocates that city council should not allow Kettering Health Network to provide healthy competition for Premier (Atrium) which would indirectly amount to the city providing Atrium financial support. Something doesn’t smell right. Council, you were elected to serve the citizens of Middletown not protect Atrium from competition!

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 10 2017 at 9:37am
Originally posted by whistlersmom whistlersmom wrote:

Mr Adkins has repeatedly pulled this item from council agenda over the last month or so. The reason for this? … might be Mr Adkins’ method of conducting and controlling city business while, by his own admission, circumventing the Sunshine Law (which was addressed on this forum and on Mr Adkins own blog in February of 2017).


What proof do you have that his has pulled this item?  I'm calling this out as BS unless you can provide proof other than / hearsay. 

The last time there was a zoning change for property on Yankee Rd, it was approved by Planning Commission at the Dec 2016 meeting and not heard in a Public Hearing at City Council until their Feb 7, 2017.

Because the Kettering case is involves rezoning, it will require a Public Hearing at Council. Public Hearings are required to be advertised in advance so many days.

This is likely why it has not a appeared on the City Council agenda at this point.  I would anticipate it at this next Oct meeting. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 10 2017 at 12:23pm
This is a very interesting and controversial situation.

How can Council/Admin deny Kettering to do what the area was designed to be? Was Atrium promised exclusive along with free property?
They continue to deny health coverage to a large % of necessary plans, so shouldn't the citizens be protected by another similar service that actually accepts their health coverage? Won't this make both entities compete for clients by lowering health costs/rates??

Help me out here swohio!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 10 2017 at 2:10pm
Spider- Actually - There are two areas of the city that are zoned for hospitals with beds.  1.) The land that Atrium/ Premier owns.  2.) The area directly across the street from Atrium (unsure who owns).

That's it.  That's why the Kettering property needs rezoned if they want beds.  It did not need rezoned to do what was originally intended for the site.

With the update to the Zoning code, I don't believe there is a change to this.

Not saying its' right or wrong, just stating the facts.

I have not heard Admin's or Council's position on the Kettering situation.  Just what planning commission determined based on the public hearing and facts.  

Staff's recommendation to planning commission was for APPROVAL. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 10 2017 at 7:10pm
thanx--good to know
so--shouldn't the emphasis be on whatever provides the most people in the area the most affordable and varied health care options possible during this time of uncertainty?
especially the way that Premiere is trending?
don't see a serious issue to re-zone an adjacent parcel to match, considering the services provided

and for the downtowners and junkies this weekend:

<div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.21%"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wIptH1awUNI?ecver=2" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" width="641" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 10 2017 at 7:17pm
https://youtu.be/wIptH1awUNI
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 10 2017 at 8:09pm
As I said, staff's recommendation was for approval.  Assumption is that the City's Planner ran this recommendation up through the chain of command (to Adkins likely) who didn't see an issue with the recommendation.  

The decision is now in Council's hands.  I can't say why Planning Commission denied, because the Admin has decided that Planning Commission meetings are not necessary to record and broadcast on their YouTube channel as had previously been done. 

If I were a sitting council member, I would vote to rezone.  Kettering would not be able to develop a full-fledged institution on the size of parcel they purchased, and there are some serious limitations with that parcel due to its topography, electrical lines, and with much of the land to the south owned by MCS and Grace, not sure there would be enough room to expand.  

Atrium is crying wolf, in my eyes.  It's not a real threat to their business, and the development does serve a population that cannot be served by Atrium due to insurance coverage.  

No brainer to me.  



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